The Prinnies return to star in the sequel to the 2009 PSP platformer Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero. While it still has some good ideas, the flaws are more glaring than ever.
- A few clever ideas carry over from the original, such as giving players 999 Prinnies to play with
- Colorful graphics still look great on the PSP
- Premise is frankly embarrassing
- Awkward controls frequently send Prinny to his death
- Enemy placement makes Prinny 2's difficulty more a matter of luck than skill
Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! Review:
The Prinnies return to star in the sequel to the 2009 PSP platformer Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero. But while it still has some good ideas, the flaws are more glaring than ever.
But while there's no shortage of gamers who will forgive (and probably enjoy) the raunchy humor, there's no hiding the fact that Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! is also a shoddily-designed platformer that does little more than milk an established property for all its worth.
Nine Hundred Ninety-Nine Exploding Penguins
The original Prinny was a fairly clever twist on Disgaea that borrowed a page or two from the classic Ghost 'N Goblins games. Like those great old platformers of yore, it was exceptionally difficult. Intentionally awkward controls and occasionally irksome enemy placement aside though, it showed a lot of promise.
But alas, Prinny 2 does nothing to address the warts of its predecessor. If anything, it makes them even more prominent with some very questionable level design.
I'm going to be completely clear on this point: the problem is not difficulty. There's nothing wrong with a challenging game so long as it's well-designed. Prinny 2, however, relies heavily on cheap tricks like having enemies attack before they even appear on screen, making progression as dependent on luck as it is skill.
As such, the initial stock of 999 lives dwindles with alarming rapidity as the Prinnies explode, fall to their death, or run afoul of bullets that simply materialize from off-screen. Sure, there's the new "Baby" mode, which is actually somewhat fairer, but as the name implies, it takes every opportunity to make fun of the player for attempting to escape the buzzsaw of the higher difficulty levels.
As a new feature, "Baby" mode is more or less superfluous: NIS knows that their audience is in it for the raw challenge. There is such a thing as "good" difficulty and "bad" difficulty though, and NIS either fails to grasp the difference between the two, or doesn't care.
One Step Closer to Nightfall
What's frustrating about Prinny 2 is that it retains a lot of what made the original generally likable.
Take the art, for instance. The locales are familiar, ranging from underwater to a Japanese temple, but they're all colorful and distinct. I'm a particularly big fan of the vibrant backgrounds, which look as if they were done in watercolors.
There's also the unique way in which it handles time progression. It's possible to choose any of the available stages at the outset; for every level that is completed, the clock ticks closer to nightfall. And the darker it gets, the harder the levels become, adding another dimension to the choices facing the players.
The flip side, of course, was that the sequel retains all of the flaws of the original as well. And on balance, the good ideas don't quite outweigh the often crummy platforming.
Stale Humor, Dood
I suppose my main problem with Prinny 2 is that, having played a fair amount of the original game, there's not a lot to draw me into the sequel.
It's not that it's more of the same so much as it's more of something that was flawed to begin with. The highly questionable level design is still there, as are the controls that will frequently send Prinny soaring over a platform and into a bottomless pit, and it's all as frustrating as ever. The humor is supposed to be one of the main selling points, but even that has gotten stale.
It's telling that NIS has resorted to having the plot revolve around an underaged girl's underwear to keep things "fresh." There's an audience for that sort of thing, but it's the kind of creepy niche that I really want nothing to do with.
As with the original, there are the makings of a good platformer here, but I doubt they will ever have the will to make good on that promise.